Power rankings are a funny thing, especially this early in the year. We don’t really have a gage on how good the good teams are nor can we tell how bad the supposed good teams are.
So the way I break it down, still 1-32, is into categories for each team. Not so much power groupings, but more of categories of what I think we can expect to see from each team as the year goes on.
Also, I am taking this season thus far into account only. So if you see some crazy stuff that you don’t agree with, remember we only have a small portion of the season to work with.
I will not make comments on every team, but I will give you one thing I want to see for every team.
On to our rankings:
For You Diehards, It’s Still Early
32. Cleveland Browns: A bad start to the Mangenius’ tenure. First, I didn’t think they would be this bad on defense, as I thought they had the personal to at least get stops, but when your offense is as bad as the Browns offense has been, it is hard to stay fresh.
I am most interested to see how long the Quinn era lasts before Mangini pulls the plug. I have the over/under at four. I will take the under.
One thing I would like to see is James Davis get healthy and get a chance to run the ball. While I am not a Clemson fan, I think he has the ability to be a good back in this league.
31. Detroit Lions: I am not a fan of putting a rookie quarterback behind a bad offensive line, and that is exactly what is going on up in Detroit. I am pretty sure we have seen this before, oh yeah the Joey Harrington era. Looked good on the touchdown drive against the Vikings, and that is about all I can say so far this year. As both the defense and offense are at the bottom of the league.
One thing I would like to see is Calvin Johnson get more balls thrown to him. That guy is too good to just be getting 8 balls in two games.
30. St. Louis Rams: One thing I would like to see is Jason Smith get back and stay healthy. A franchise left tackle was what got the Rams on the right track the last time.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: One thing I would like to see is Larry Johnson continue to run hard. He has all the making of the next great back until he was run into the ground. Hopefully he is healthy and is successful this year.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: They didn’t just come out and say they were rebuilding, but they really didn’t need to. The offense has been surprisingly effective lead by Byron Leftwich. But the defense, the staple of the Bucs for about a decade, is abysmal.
One thing I would like to see is Derrick Brooks come back to the organization in some capacity. He is has been a major player in Florida for more than 15 years and needs to be somewhere in that organization.
They Really Aren’t This Bad…Are They?
27. Carolina Panthers: Jake Delholmme looked better this week, and the pass defense is still dominate. But they are giving up 168 rush yards per game, and need to find someone, anyone to help them stop the run.
One thing I would like to see is the Williams/Stewart combo to get more yards rushing per game. I realize they were down in the first game, but they need to own the time of possession with those two in the backfield.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars: One thing I would like to see is Maurice Jones-Drew continue to develop into one of the top running backs in the league. He is amazingly electric with the ball is in his hands.
25. Miami Dolphins: One thing I would like to see is the wildcat run more often. Did you see how dominate the Dolphins were when running this at the Colts?
24. Tennessee Titans: They definitely do not deserve to be this low right now, but they are 0-2 and even though one loss was to the Super Bowl champs, they are atrocious against the pass right now. On the bright side their offense has looked great, and Chris Johnson continues to become a special player.
One thing I would like to see is the defense get better against the pass. I had hoped that Haynesworth’s departure would not affect the pass defense as much as it has.
A Bunch of Teams at 1-1
23. Oakland Raiders: One thing I would like to see is JaMarcus Russell become more consistent. He has the arm strength and good footwork but seems to lack vision some times.
22. Buffalo Bills: I will be the first to say I have been pleasantly surprised by the Bills play. That being said, I still do not buy into this team completely. Fred Jackson, Trent Edwards and the rest of the offense have been good, but the defense…not so much.
One thing I would like to see is Fred Jackson to continue to get ample carries even when Marshawn Lynch comes back.
21. Houston Texans: I am not sure what to make of the Texans. They beat a good Titans team, and lost to what seems like a good Jets team. Matt Schaub has looked dynamite, but Steve Slaton has left something to be desired. And the defense, oh the defense. I think Chris Johnson is still running.
One thing I would like to see is the running backs getting it going. The offense is good and if the running game gets back to where it was last year, they will be tough to stop.
20. Cincinnati Bengals: One thing I would like to see is Carson Palmer cutting down on the interceptions. Both selfishly, he is one of my fantasy league quarterbacks and for the fact that they could be a good team if he can keep the turnovers down.
19. Washington Redskins: One thing I would like to see is Jason Campbell and company score a touchdown on a long drive. They have looked good on both sides of the ball, but only between the 20s on offense.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Matt Hasselbeck’s injury plays a part in this low of a ranking, that and there is a lot of 1-1 teams out there. If Hasselbeck can come back within a couple of weeks, I think the Seahawks can be ok, but we saw what happened last year. Add in that they have a lot of injuries along the defensive side of the ball and this could get ugly again.
One thing I would like to see is a healthy Seahawks team. As a Cardinals fan I would like to see a team at full strength so if the Cards do win the division again, there are no excuses.
17. Chicago Bears: One thing I would like to see is a WR step up and become a threat for Jay Cutler. The Bears defense still has some life, even without their leader, but they will need a big boost from the offense and more specifically Matt Forte and a WR.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Looked better in week two, but still have a propensity to give up the big play on defense. Run defense has looked incredible against two of the better backs in the NFL, and the running game seems to be improving.
One thing I would like to see is Chris “Beanie” Wells hold onto the ball. The kid has amazing natural talent, but if he continues to put the ball on the turf, he is useless.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles looked great in week one, not so much in week two. They need McNabb to be effective against good teams, or they may need to look to Garcia, maybe even, GULP, Mike Vick. The defense was lit up by the best offense in the NFL, so I will not read too much into that, but I will pay a little more attention.
One thing I would like to see is McNabb back and healthy. It is good for the NFL when all four teams in the NFC East are competitive, and I don’t know how competitive the Eagles can be without McNabb.
14. Green Bay Packers: One thing I would like to see is BJ Raji get healthy. He can be a dominate force on the inside of a 3-4 defense and really help his team get to the top.
13. Dallas Cowboys: The disappointment from Sundays loss will be bitter. That may not be a good thing for their next opponent, because this Cowboys team seems to be a little more level headed than previous ones. Tony Romo needs to find a way to limit mistakes in big games and big moments.
One thing I would like to see is the Cowboys defense step up and play up to what their offense is doing.
12. San Diego Chargers: One thing I would like to see is the Chargers defense come back to life. Having all those weapons on offense is no good if they are unable to stop anybody.
11. New England Patriots: Where to even start with the Patriots? They seem to be out of sync both offensively and defensively. Tom Brady has faced unrelenting pressure since Super Bowl 42 and has not been the great Tom Brady of old...yet. The defense is what really concerns me, as I am not sure what to expect.
One thing I would like to see is the Patriots offense of old for just one or two games. I don’t expect the dynamic offense of two years ago, but just show us something.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers: One thing I would like to see is the Steelers form any semblance of a running game. They have not looked good running the ball the first two games and the Steelers need to run the ball to be the Steelers.
It’s Only Two Games, so They Deserve This Spot…For Now
9. Denver Broncos: One thing I would like to see is Brandon Marshall become a dominate WR again. I don’t know what it is going to take, but I believe Marshall has the talent to be a top 10 maybe even top five WR in this league.
8. San Francisco 49ers: The Niners have looked great defensively in their first two games. They have really taken to Mike Singletary’s approach and have come to ready to lay the wood. Offensively, well Frank Gore had an amazing game on Sunday, but looked human week one. I think we can expect him to land somewhere in between.
One thing I would like to see is Glen Coffee get a couple more carriers a game. I know that Frank Gore is the man, but he needs a break too, or else he may not be effective much longer.
On The Cusp
7. New York Jets: One thing I would like to see is me have the stones to actually make the pick I wanted to in my preview. I love this Jets team, I like the way they are built on both sides of the ball and I think that Sanchez could be a legit star. I wanted to say this team would be a Wild Card team, but I chickened out, so far, and it is only two games, they look to be for real.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Tony Gonzalez has added a new dimension to an already potent Falcons attack and I am excited to see where it takes them. The defense has looked good and if these two units can continue to grow together, they should improve on last year’s finish.
One thing I would like to see is Jerious Norwood healthy. Turner has looked like he is a little worn down from last year, and Norwood would give the offense another piece and make them even more explosive.
The Fab Five
5. Indianapolis Colts: One thing I would like to see is more of rookie Donald Brown. He has looked good in his spot duty and should be worked into the offense a little more each week.
4. Minnesota Vikings: The Favre experiment has worked out nicely so far. He is deferring well to the running game, and seems not to be forcing the ball too much. Of course, he has yet to face any real competition and I want to see if old Favre comes out and starts flinging the ball around the field.
One thing I would like to see is how they play against some good competition. They had an easy opening two weeks and getting San Francisco at home is still not a huge test. I am really looking forward to week four when they take on Green Bay.
3. Baltimore Ravens: One thing I want to see is if this offense can keep it up all year. They lit up a bad Chiefs defense and the Chargers defense has not looked good at all this year. The defense looks to be there still, so if Joe Flacco and others can keep it up, this team could be special.
2. New Orleans Saints: Sure they pounded a horrible Lions team, but the dismantling of the Philly D, in Philly was more than impressive. This offense is amazing and the defense seems to have the ability to make plays in order to give that offense even more time on the field. This team has all the makings of doing something great.
One thing I would like to see is the pass defense tighten up and more importantly see a significant pass rush. The run defense has looked great, and they will be in a lot of shootouts with the offense they have, so improving the pass defense is a must.
1. New York Giants: I know it is early, and I know the scope of the season is small, but this is the team I believe is the best in the NFC. On top of that they have all of the makings to make another run to the Super Bowl.
One thing I would like to see is Brandon Jacobs get going again. They need, much like the Steelers, to be able to run the ball as the season progresses in order to let their dominating defense have a chance to rest.